‘Twas a Weekend of Newness

With the rain falling and the mercury stuck at a stubborn fifty-five, I took it upon myself to go out and experience some new things in our fair city this weekend. Undaunted by the wet weather and soggy spirits I managed to eat, drink, and laugh my way to a pretty darn good weekend.

Friday night was a double dip into newness, visiting the newly remodeled Sacramento Comedy Spot as well as sampling the grub from the highly anticipated Suzie Burger.

The show at the Sacramento Comedy Spot was a rousing success. Labeled a “Grand Re-Opening,” the lineup included four different shows to a sold out audience. Shows run most Fridays at 8pm. Check out http://www.saccomedyspot.com for show details.

Suzie Burger was another story. The newly opened burger joint, brainchild of the Haines brothers, has been “coming soon” for quite a number of months now. The former auto repair shop on 29th and P streets has been teasing me with the thought of burgers and cheesesteaks for long enough. It was time to indulge.

A good friend and I sped down to Suzie’s place after the show at the Comedy Spot, just in time to get in some good grubbing before Suzie’s midnight closing time. First, good on them for staying open until midnight. Second, kudos for having a theme and sticking with it. What is that theme, you ask? Well, it appears that Suzie, who bears a striking resemblance to the broad from those animated E-surance commercials, has some type of super hero thing going for her, which apparently allows her to produce low priced hamburgers for the masses. There are pictures of Suzie throughout the location on posters, menus, and back-lit panels. It’s a bit like walking into a cartoon. Which is a good thing, since my good friend (let’s call him “The Cheese”) commented that, other than the Suzie decorations, the place reminded him of one of those modern prison pods–the kind of thing you’d see on one of those Bill Kurtis news magazines on A&E. The exterior is cute and bright, but the interior is a bit institutional. I’m sure on a hot summer day, eating there would be a lot more fun than at 11:45pm on a rainy night.

So how are the burgers, you want to know? They’re ok. They’re burgers. They’re $2.95 a piece. No better or worse than most quickly made griddle-fried meat frisbees. The toppings are fun since there is a ton to choose from–I got a fried egg and bacon burger and The Cheese went for a pastrami burger–but the actual burgers themselves aren’t special. The hot dogs, however, are special, well, especially not very good to be honest–chewy, over decorated with condiments, and surrounded by a moderately stale bun. The onion rings were a hit, though, lightly battered and yummy. Overall, this is not a place whose food you’re going to crave. I’d take any of these burgers over Suzie’s any day, but some of these are more than twice the price. So take that into account.

Lastly comes the drinking portion of my little tale. Sacramento’s newest specialty bar is not an ultralounge, or a raw bar, or a dueling accordion showplace. No, it’s just a place that specializes in beer. That’s right, good ole beer.

Manderes in Folsom, opened their doors about a month ago and is already the talk of the beer loving community of Northern California. With over a dozen international and local microbrews on tap and almost a hundred in the bottle, Manderes takes beer seriously. I was informed by some Folsom locals (my sister and brother-in-law) that the location Manderes now occupies used to be a fish and chips shack, and while the astute patron might be able to sense a lingering brackish vibe to the place, any common customer would take the joint to be a hip, laid-back, comfortable place in which to indulge your inner beer snob. Since this was an after dinner stop on Saturday night, bro-law and I skipped the menu offerings and went straight for the brews. Nevertheless, upon cursory examination, the menu looked interesting, varied, and probably worth trying. I may very well go back for a sampling.

We sampled a few Belgian brews, a lovely Japanese brew call Red Rice Ale that I’ve only seen at one other restaurant in town, and a full bodied offering from Lagunitas brewing called Hairy Eyeball Ale that was likely to put hair on your chest, and maybe even palms in addition to your eyeballs. I’ll definitely be checking out Manderes again, if, for no other reason, than to figure out how to pronounce its name.

Who knows what Sunday will bring? Oh, that’s right, I do. Vacuuming.

13 thoughts on “‘Twas a Weekend of Newness”

  1. ‘Twas a weekend of newness for RunnerGirl, as well. It was my first time flying ExpressJet, and I highly recommend it. I flew direct/non-stop to San Antonio from SMF for only $110 each way. I didn’t have to sit next to anyone on the plane, and it was a comfy ride.

    The carrier currently flies from SMF to Albuquerque, Austin, Colorado Springs, Bakersfield, Spokane, Santa Barbara, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Tulsa, and Tucson.


  2. Manderes is the hit of the Folsom version of SACrag (I know that’s blasphemy, but don’t know how else to describe this local blog): http://www.tomatopages.com/folsomforum.

    Since I’m stuck out here in Folsom (which we often called “Stepford,” when I was an administrator for the local school district) while tending to the needs of my 81 year old mom, I might have to do a “Celebrity Drive By” at Manderes and SOON! I could even steer home after a few, with little chance of disaster, since her house is only 3 miles away. (And reportedly there are cabs that service Stepford.)

    One thing you didn’t mention is their company slogan: “No crap on tap!” i.e., they won’t stock Coors, MGD, Bud etc, even though reportedly some boutique distributors won’t give you their high end stuff unless you buy the “crap” as part of a package deal….!


  3. I actually drink Bud on occasion. I wonder why people hate on it so much. It is no Newcastle (one of my favs), but it serves a purpose. I don’t want to get done doing yard work on a hot summer day only to down a Guinness. That would make me puke. I’ll take a nice cold Bud over an MGD or Natty Ice any day. I appreciate a good full bodied beer at times, but I think the Bud hate is a bit of beer snobbery.


  4. I actually prefer a Pacifico to a Bud when I’m looking for a clean, cool yardwork beer. Although I have no qualms in sucking down cheap, plentiful, American beer.

    There’s a time and a place for all the beautiful colors of the beer rainbow. Don’t ever forget that.


  5. Actually, I have been known to down a few PBRs (Pabst Blue Ribbons) on occasion, I was only mentioning the “no crap on tap” as the motto of the new brew-nirvana, Mandera.

    And as for burgers, how come Fanny Ann’s never made your “great burgers” list? Admittedly, it’s been awhile, but I remember their Thursday night “Burger Madness” evenings when the 1/2 pounders were marked down and we’d inhale them like they were air….


  6. There is definitely a time & place for the PBR, most notably at the Pine Cove while enjoying some quality popcorn & tunes on the jukebox.

    Corona with a lime is my post-yard work brew choice.

    Speaking of yard work, some of our bulbs are starting to sprout up. Super exciting! 🙂


  7. NotMalibuBarbie,

    I hope I didn’t come across as criticizing you. That was not my intent at all. I was just criticizing the motto. Sorry.


  8. Dave ordered a Bud at Spataro’s and the bartender looked at him like he was nuts…”we don’t carry that kind of beer”, she said. I can’t recall what he ended up having.

    I do enjoy an cold Guiness after yard work. I guess beer is in the eye of the beholder.


  9. Miller High Life is my new refreshment beer. Not in the popular 40oz size though

    Kudos to Dave for ordering up a Bud at Spataro. Who’s Dave? 🙂


  10. I sense a Cheech and Chong “Dave’s Not Here!” soliliquy coming on… (Explanation to the young ‘uns: though many of you only know Cheech from his role on “Nash Bridges” he was part of the duo who were the epitome of stoner humor from the 70’s….)


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